07/14/2012 6:34PM

Arlington Park: Cozzetti shows heart by squeezing through tight hole in American Derby

Four Footed Fotos
Cozzetti (right) comes through a narrow opening along the rail under Shaun Bridgmohan to win the American Derby.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – Silver Max might be the best 3-year-old turf horse in the country right now, but trainer Dale Romans didn’t need him to win the American Derby on Saturday at Arlington. Romans-trained Cozzetti, who Silver Max beat by almost seven lengths when they met June 13 at Indiana Downs, slipped through a tight spot on the rail in deep stretch and edged pacesetting All Stormy in the Grade 3, $200,000 American Derby.

Cozzetti, always close to  All Stormy and Skyring while racing along the rail through slow fractions, tried to come out for a stretch run at the eighth pole, but jockey Joel Rosario on Skyring had just enough horse to lock Shaun Bridgmohan and Cozzetti inside. Bridgmohan looked back inside, and after being briefly shut off  by All Stormy, found a narrow seam between that rival and the fence.

“It was a little tight, but he was game,” said Bridgmohan.

Cozzetti won by a neck, but could have scored by more with a better trip, which only serves to emphasize the bountiful talent of Silver Max, who was entered in the American Derby but never made the trip here from Churchill Downs. Cozzetti raced mainly on turf and synthetic as a 2-year-old, but was given a look as a Triple Crown candidate this year, finishing third in the Tampa Derby, fourth in the Arkansas Derby, and seventh in the Preakness. By Cozzene and out of a Lemon Drop Kid mare, Cozzetti is bred for grass and clearly appreciated returning to it last month, though he was no match for Silver Max going a mile on the tight Indiana Downs course. The American Derby was his first stakes win and the second win of his career.

All Stormy finished a head in front of Skyring, who was a half-length better than favored Daddy Nose Best, who was within striking range at the top of the stretch but could not quite finish with the top three.

Cozzetti, owned by the Allbaugh Family Stable, paid $10 to win and was timed in 1:57.42 for 1 3/16 miles on “good” turf.

D More than 1 year ago
I make a killing every Churchill meet on Bridgemohan on the grass. Gets overlooked most times by the casual race fan and is an EXCELLENT grass rider. Esp in turf sprint races.
JoyJackson21 More than 1 year ago
What brave move on the rail by Cozzetti and Shaun Bridgmohaun. The hole they were trying to come through was mighty tight! The win at 4-1 was a good one, too. Dale Romans is doing a fine job with Cozzetti. Nice win!
Gee More than 1 year ago
Looks like Million day will be for Americans. Treasue Beach looks terrible.Romacca loves Arlington.
D More than 1 year ago
Anyone that read these posts when the artical was on DRF about Daddy read that he was a HORRIBLE favorite...
D More than 1 year ago
Anyone that read my posts knew I was totally tossing him in the gimmicks.
D More than 1 year ago
You chalk eaters keep betting OVER-HYPED horses such as To Honor and Serve and Daddy Knows Best and see what it gets you in the end. I LOVE THIS GAME!! A class horse like Cozetti is 4-1!! Wow I will take it all day people!
Gee More than 1 year ago
Hey big guy hope u plyed Torres in R1 yesturday 9-1 U kidding me??
yoeddie More than 1 year ago
wow, that was a really strange ride on Cozetti.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lenny had to be giggling all the way.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
He had to make his own hole twice. Romans is gonna win Trainer of the Year.
Don Passidomo More than 1 year ago
Now he is where he should be, turf, no doubt in my mind who the winner of this race was going to be.....Cozzetti, gutsy win and like his dad.
Tom Wilson More than 1 year ago